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Designing resilient military logistics with additive manufacturing

Ilari Valtonen (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland)
Samu Rautio (Department of Military Technology, National Defence University, Helsinki, Finland)
Juha-Matti Lehtonen (Department of Military Technology, National Defence University, Helsinki, Finland)

Continuity & Resilience Review

ISSN: 2516-7502

Article publication date: 28 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

In this study, the authors explore how novel and relevant technologies can change the overall design of systems, and which factors influence the design of resilient systems in particular. After evaluating the effects of these factors, the authors describe the potential role of AM-supported maintenance operations in military logistics and draw broader conclusions regarding designing for resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors build a simulation model of the AM-supported maintenance capability of a mechanised battalion to analyse factors affecting its resilience. AM production capacity specifically refers to metal printing and was verified by data generated from 3D printing of the actual APC parts.

Findings

The current AM speed is not able to increase resilience at the depot level, so at present, increasing the spare parts inventory is a better way to improve resilience. However, with future improvements in speed the AM may become feasible in battlefield maintenance.

Practical implications

AM holds great promise in increasing resilience of especially the spare part logistics. At present technology, it is not yet fully realised in the case.

Originality/value

The authors suggest a concrete system performance measure, where reaching a concrete limit, system resilience is lost. The authors present arguments for a definition of resilience where pre-disruption activities are not part of resilience. The authors maintain that simulation, with its ability to include detail, is well-suited in design-for-resilience because supply chains are context dependent and disruptions unexpected.

Keywords

Citation

Valtonen, I., Rautio, S. and Lehtonen, J.-M. (2022), "Designing resilient military logistics with additive manufacturing", Continuity & Resilience Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/CRR-08-2022-0015

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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